Benefit cuts: Are they really what the working class wants?

January 26, 2014 9:00 am

We’ve witnessed the growth of programmes such as ‘Benefits and Proud’; ‘Benefits Britain and Skint’ – if only there was an NTA award for the programme that made Britain angriest. “And the WINNER is…’Benefit Street” – achieving most complaints to both OfCom and the police.”

Every single hour of airtime is achieving the exact reaction that it set out to. It is no secret that the media is one of the government’s most important tools, and recently the half-truths being blasted across our television screens is allowing us all to absorb the stereotypes, and take to Twitter with our residing anger.

Furious ‘Benefit Street’ watchers went as far as to post hate filled suggestions to kill:

As a working class girl myself, I can’t deny the programmes angered me somewhat. Yet, I could not help thinking; are cuts going to make the working class any happier with the benefit situation? First, they introduce bedroom tax. Then, they carry out reviews and make cuts wherever they can, and, as proposed earlier this month, George Osborne plans to make a further cut of £12 billion across the benefit system as a whole.

We all sat there watching, saying ‘Yes, about time they made some cuts and stopped giving them handouts from my taxes’. But, we also watched them shoplift; posing as Big Issue sellers; stealing from the public. Will we change our minds when these people sink into poverty, and steal from our homes  because we; who ‘wanted’ the cuts made; are responsible for their hardship?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe programmes are constructed perfectly to provoke a response of outrage, and we’re lapping it up. It’s not the people on the programmes that we are angry at, it’s the government for letting it become such a social problem in the first place, yet they are the ones receiving the praise for making the cuts. Funny, isn’t it?

Are we really naive enough to think that the ‘savings’ made on benefit reductions will be put back into making Britain better, when in December last year MP’s took a wholly inappropriate increase of 11% in pay.

These reforms aren’t only hitting those we see on the television: reassessments of Disability Living Allowance are said to be made by October next year.

Defined contribution salary schemes will affect expected pensions by around a third. As it turns out, none of the benefit programmes were nominated for a National Television Award…it’s probably for the best. The working class are merely three pay cheques away from poverty; these cuts certainly won’t help us.

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